The Laws That Govern NASA

From launching rockets and flying airplanes to understanding masses and orbits or planets, NASA depends on Newton’s Laws of Motion. We have great resources for those who teach physical science. Three DIY Podcast modules include videos and audio with astronauts and NASA experts explaining the laws of motion.

Students can combine clips from Newton’s Laws,Sports Demo, and Rocket Science with their own demonstrations to create a podcast episode explaining the laws of motion.

Below I’ve listed some NASA resources that you can use with your class.

Newton's first law of motion Lunar Nautics: Newton’s Laws of Motion Activities

Navigating by Good Gyrations

Why Do the Planets Go Around the Sun?
A Short Introduction to Black Holes

The Spinning World of Spacecraft Reaction Wheels (PDF)

Fundamental Aeronautics Program: Newton’s Laws for Students

“From Stargazers to Starships” Site:

Newton and his Laws

Mass Measurements Aboard Space Station Skylab
Comparing Masses Without the Use of Gravity

Newton’s Second Law

Newton’s Third Law
Work Against an Electric Force: The Van de Graaff Generator

Motion in a Circle

Newton’s Theory of “Universal Gravitation”

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Science Demonstrations for a Spacesuits Podcast

If you plan to use the DIY Podcast Spacesuits topic module for your students to create their own video podcast, you might consider requiring them to do a science demonstration to enhance their understanding of science concepts and improve the overall quality of their podcast. One of the best ways to understand a concept is to do it, and NASA Education has resources to guide students in creating their own demonstrations. The Spacesuits and Spacewalks Education Activities page lists links to lesson plans.

Here are a few highlights:

  • Some of the lessons from the Suited for Spacewalking Educator Guide now have demonstration videos. The videos give brief explanations of lesson concepts and the materials and setups needed for demonstrations.
  • In the Keeping Your Cool demonstration, students learn how the liquid cooling and ventilation garment works.
  • Micrometeoroids and Space Debris helps students explain the need for spacesuits to provide protection from tiny, high-speed particles in space. Students can also learn about the various layers of the spacesuit.
  • The Bending Under Pressure demonstration allows students to use inflated balloons and rubber bands to discuss how NASA engineers must construct a spacesuit so that astronauts can work in it when it is pressurized.
  • Students demonstrate how surface color affects heat absorption in the Absorption and Radiation demonstration.

As students rehearse and record their demonstrations for a podcast, they gain a deeper, more practical understanding of these science concepts.

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DIY Podcast: Spacesuits

Resources That Shed Light on Solar Arrays and Electricity

The main page of the Solar Arrays module lists resources for students to use if they want to gather more information for their podcast script. Here are a few more NASA educational resources that you may find helpful in teaching about solar arrays and electricity.

NASA’s Student Observation Network includes the Living and Working in Space: Energy module, which promotes inquiry as students answer questions such as “What variables might affect the operation of solar panels?”

Classroom of the Future offers ISS: Electricity and Power in Space, an electricity module with simulations.

The NASA SCI Files’ The Case of the Electrical Mystery educator guide contains activities that will get students “charged up” about electricity.

NASA’s Environmental Control and Life Support Systems Water Filtration Challenge Educator Guide is an engineering design challenge in which students build and test water filtration systems.

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DIY Podcast: Solar Arrays

Educator Resources for the Science of Sports in Space

The action of sports and the thrill of space exploration are great motivators for even the most reluctant learner. From Newton’s Laws of Motion to the conservation of angular momentum, there’s a lot of science to consider when contemplating sports in space. You’ll find several resource links on the
DIY Podcast: Sports Demo page. A recent DIY Podcast Blog post, “Resources to Put Newton’s Laws in Motion,” features a long list of useful links, including the Buzz Lightyear Mission Game 5 that shows students how toys behave in microgravity.

Here are a few more resources that might come in handy if your class develops a podcast episode about the science of sports in space:

•    NASA — What is Microgravity?
•    Out-of-This-World Olympics
•    The Effects of Space Flight on the Human Vestibular System

The last link, covering the human vestibular system, points you to instructions to demonstrate Newton’s laws and the conservation of angular momentum using a rolling office chair. Your class could videotape a student in a rolling chair to make it easier to understand some of the scientific principles that would likely be discussed in your podcast on the science of sports in space.

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The Science of Spacesuits

How does the study of spacesuits fit into the curriculum? If you’re pondering that question, here are a few pointers that might help you integrate the science of spacesuits into your lesson plans.

Earth Science Topics

  • Atmosphere: Contrast the atmosphere of Earth to the vacuum of space.

  • Air and atmospheric pressure: Discuss the need for pressure.

Physical Science Topics

  • Vacuum: Discuss what happens to objects in a vacuum.

  • Radiation: Identify what type of radiation is present in space.

  • Temperature: Explain what causes the extreme differences in temperature.

  • High-speed micrometeoroids: Discuss the effect of an impact of energy.

Life Science Topics

  • How would the human body react to the space environment without a spacesuit?
    •    Effects of radiation.
    •    Effects of no oxygen.
    •    Effects of low atmospheric pressure.  

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